The simple prayer (Matthew 8:23-27)

In the storm on the sea, the disciples reveal that they had discovered what to do in a crisis, which was to ask Jesus for help. How did they expect Jesus to save them? They probably could not have answered such a point apart from saying that they knew that he could, even if they did not fully know how. Sometimes we want to know what the solution is before the solution is applied whereas at times it might be better to trust the solver.

We do this in life in different ways. When we sense that something is wrong with us physically we will go to the doctor, not because we know the remedy, but because we assume that he will know what to do. We elect politicians because we assume that they, and not us, know what to do. Of course, such gifted people will face matters in which they do not know the answers. But with Jesus he never finds himself in that location of failure. Disciples know that he will always have the answer although they usually will not.

Connected to this is the content of prayer. We can see from their petition that it was short, reverent, united and precise. The shortness is seen in the number of words, the reverence is seen in that they address him as Lord, the unity is seen in that they all approach him, and the precision is seen in the petition they make.

The call to pray raises the question as to whether we ever pray in non-urgent circumstances. Do disciples ever find themselves in a situation in which prayer is not made in a crisis? Which day last month did the devil or our own sinfulness not tempt us to say, think or do something wrong? The environment in which we pray is seldom comfortable and easy-going.  

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